Dell Stops Selling More Than One Computer to Each Customer

Erin BarkleyMonday, October 29, 2007
This post is part of Push the Third Button Twice, a ~2 month adventure where I would write parody articles based on the news as it happened — in 15 minutes or less. The posts are credited to my a fictional "staff", but they're actually all me. I apologize in advance.

In an attempt to catch up to rival Apple, Dell Computer today announced a new program called “Scarcity 2.0″, which aims to prevent the company from selling more than one computer to each customer.

“Dell was aware they were lagging in terms of mystique,” said Junpa Raji, an analyst with PPG Services, “so they decided to adopt what, on the surface, appears to be contrary to good business practices.”

By selling only a single computer to each customer, Dell hopes to drive up the price of each individual unit, and position themselves as a “trendy” brand, instead of their current image as “cheap and disposable”.  In the words of one industry insider: “It was either this or they’d actually have to innovate.”

It was not clear at press time how Dell decides what is a “second” computer for each customer, and what the allowed refresh rate would be.  Some tech watchers are concerned that an inability to upgrade might be a hindrance to growing market share, however others have noted that Dell very rarely sees repeat business in the market segment that does not suffer from temporal lobe damage.

Greg Lowenstein, CFO of Atamax Technologies of Westboro, NJ, was one of the first customers to bump into the new program, and had mixed feelings: “On the one hand, they won’t let my company of 400 buy more than a single PC this year.  On the other hand, that’s 399 fewer computers I’ll have to watch disintegrate before my eyes over the next few months.  So it’s not all bad.”

Dell stock was down 15% on NASDAQ after the announcement.

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